TIME COMMITMENT: Minimum of 2 hours each week for 6 months

BACKGROUND: Founded in 1933, the International Rescue Committee is a leading, non-sectarian, non-profit organization providing emergency relief, protection, rehabilitation assistance, resettlement services, and advocacy for refugees and victims of oppression or violent conflict.  Domestically, our 30 offices across the U.S. ensure new arrivals have food, shelter, and clothing, and work with refugees to help them gain self-sufficiency.

SCOPE OF ESL CLASS TUTOR VOLUNTEER POSITION:  ESL Class Assistants provide support with English language lessons, cultural orientation, and friendship to newly arrived refugee individuals or families in a classroom setting. Tutors will concentrate on improving the client’s employability and ability to communicate and succeed in their new life by building practical vocabulary, answering their questions, and encouraging them with social interaction and support.


·Attend Volunteer Orientation Workshop and ESL tutor training, if applicable.

·Must undergo and pass a background check. The IRC kindly requests a $35 fee to assist in covering the cost of this requirement.

·Prepare or create lesson plans and materials appropriate to the clients’ everyday listening, speaking, reading, & writing needs. 

·Provide instructional assistance in a classroom setting to a small to moderately sized group in collaboration with other volunteers and the classroom supervisor. In the absence of a classroom supervisor, lead primary instructional activities with other volunteers.

·Be sensitive to the cultural and personality differences of the refugee clients.  Respect their beliefs and values, which may differ from yours.

·Notify the classroom supervisor if you are unable to be present during your scheduled tutoring hours.

·Communicate regularly with the IRC staff, keeping the Economic Empowerment Supervisor advised of concerns or changes affecting the refuge client and/or your volunteer assignment.

·Maintain proper boundaries with your client(s).  Refer issues related to employment, social services, and health care to IRC staff.

·Record hours tutored each session and submit a completed time sheet at the end of each month.


·Excellent knowledge and command of the English language is essential.

·Experience with ESL tutoring methods is preferred, but not required.

·Experience with vocational language is preferred, but not required (e.g. English terminology pertaining to a mechanic job, medical setting, etc.).

·Commitment to working with refugees and willing to learn about cross-cultural communication and ethnic backgrounds of clients

·Ability to travel to the IRC’s Charlottesville office on a regularly scheduled basis: at least twice a week, 1.5 hours per session during class hours Monday - Thursday 9:30am – 11:00am, for a minimum of 6 months.

·Willing to adhere to IRC volunteer and workplace policies, including confidentiality policies and respect for family experiences.